I'm a master's student and I already have a postgraduate degree called in Brazil "postgraduate Lato sensu". I can't classify this in my CV and ask for some help.

Specifically, this course has 510 hours (two years) and a need for a dissertation to conclude that. And you need a bachelor's degree to be able to enter.

Here in Brazil, we distinguish lato sensu" and "stricto sensu". The last one is the graduate normal track (master and after doctorate).

Any help would be appreciated

3 Answers 3


Depending on your definition of 'translation', that might be untranslatable, as there's a conceptual gap at play. Different educational systems have different categories; while Brazil has a federal law defining the types of academic degrees, as far as I know, it is not the case for the United States (or I'm not aware of that). The degree names differ between the two countries and might also have some variation inside the US. Therefore, you have at least two unmatched systems of categorization. So trying to translate degrees for your CV is problematic as it might either 'inflate' or 'deflate' your degree.

That said, there's a simple online text explaining degrees in the United States, available at http://potomacpanthers.org/academic-degrees-of-the-united-states (weirdly citing "Canadian Pharmacy" and "Online Pharmacy" as sources, but containing information that I mostly verified in the past).

Don't use it necessarily as a guide to translate degree names. I would recommend the original term or a word-for-word translation, in both cases with a note (when it's possible) for CVs or any kind of strictly formal text. Most universities are capable of finding proper information if they don't know what your degree means. Adding a note to your text will help you, as some degrees in Brazil have names that might suggest they're higher than they are in fact, but might impact aesthetics in a CV (there's no perfect choice).

Of course, that's an advisable choice for the context you asked for, and does not apply, for instance, to everyday/informal communication, where a small distortion won't be a problem. For instance, telling your friends you possess a degree whose name they won't understand is a poor choice, so the context should be carefully evaluated.

PS: Be careful with the word "dissertation", as it might imply a doctorate research in some contexts (in most American universities, you produce a thesis for obtaining a Bachelor's or a Master's degree, and a dissertation for a PhD, unlike in Brazil).


What you wrote in your question is clear and unambiguous, which is exactly what you want for a CV. The Latin phrase used is "Lato Sensu"

So you write in your CV for example

March 2015-March 2017 Postgraduate study at University of Xyz in Biology
Qualification obtained "Postgraduate Lato Sensu" (Postgraduate degree with 510 hours of teaching concluded by a dissertation)

This has all the information needed, When, where, and what. Don't try to translate degree names; describe them. The person reading the CV now has all the information they need.


Just like you, I keep searching for an appropriate name to refer to my “especialização”, one that would be fully understandable all over the world. Unfortunately, it seems there isn't one :-|

In a CV I think it's easier: Specialty area + workload + graduate degree/certificate. It gets tricky if you want to put it in the signature of your e-mail or something like that. I'd go with “Graduate degree in [Specialty area]”.

  • Yes! You right about the difference between CV and be specific.
    – Rodrigues
    Oct 7, 2020 at 19:15
  • Don't try to translate this for a CV. If you translate it, and the Americans think you are inflating your experience, then they will trash your CV for being deceptive. Just put down exactly what it is. If it is called "Lato Senso" then call it "Lato senso" and say it is a 510 hour, two year course. If the Americans need to find out about it, they can use wikipedia.
    – James K
    Oct 7, 2020 at 19:43

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